The ink circulates words like magick making them visible from my hand. The notebook now full, I lift the tome heavy with ink flowing through it word for word like blood flows through me. The volume recognizes a piece of myself transfered letter by letter. I smile at the magick as I tuck it away.
The sunset slept
with a golden hue
blinking the day to dusk.
The moonlight sang
gleaming down on you.
Your skin a kiss of stardust.
Look at all these little ones
Made from me of you
Genetics run deep
Something I know you knew
The gift of the reader
The teller of stories
The passion of makers
They all hold your glory
We are your kinship
Although not worth your day
Your kingdom is here
I protect what you slay
I don’t normally review children’s books because I have not studied up entirely on how to write them. But at the bookstore today this book, Sulwe written by Lupita Nyong’o and illustrated by Vashti Harrison, spoke to me on the shelf. I took it down, flipped a couple of pages, looked at the price, decided it was worth it, and brought it home excited to dive in. It is a book that I will always remember and cherish. In college I actually had a friend whose soul you could tell was hurting when she talked about how dark she was compared to her sister. So this book went straight to my heart and pulled a few strings. The first time I read it I cried. Then the second time I read it to my children I had to keep taking breaks to choke back tears. It is a must have and a necessary read, colored with beautiful illustrations that take your breath away with a flip of a page. I am so thankful I came across this and that now I get to keep it on my shelf forever to bring down whenever I need a moment and a reminder of beauty.
Illusionary love is the most powerful, not the strongest, but the one that makes you feel the most. There is something about the lies of passion that hits you deep and opens you raw. Leaving you lost and always remembering those days that you felt everything. The stain of a barmecide.
Few things make me extremely happy. Dressing up in fantasy land with my family is one of them! This was a dream come true for me. Also this was a new first and hopefully not a last! Watching these characters that could come from so many stories so full of life and inspiration was so amazing. And what made it even more than amazing was the fact that they were my blood. It was incredible to be able to finally let loose, which is what I have been trying to teach myself to do when it comes to following my heart and passions in this life. To finally be able to be myself with my family and take off the mask I wear every day was memorable and I hope will be impactful for myself when I look at these pictures. A great story will come of this someday! I promise and cannot wait to share!! Maybe one day more passionate dreams will come true and people will be walking around bringing my own characters that I share with the world to life! 🙂
Backstory to this poem:
My little sister had given birth to her third child a little over a year ago when I had written this to comfort her. She was going through what many mothers go through after giving birth: the desperation to hold her little boy, the tiredness of seeing tubes and monitors all around, and the need for normalcy and want to take him home. I am hoping if anyone else needs this that it can help give them a moment of peace and strength. ❤
You are strong momma
Stay strong lil sis
Fight back the empty pain
You got this, just like him
Strong in every way
Soon moments will be full of kisses
Not sitting in a monitored room
Mommy and Daddy will roll off his lips
And love will leave you swooned
You got three beautiful children, mommy
And you have remained strong for each one
He will get through this faster than you think
And life will be more than once was
Writing can be intimidating. With every single sentence and every single word we write, we often begin to second guess ourselves. Especially if what we are writing is for more eyes than our own. How are we supposed to get away from that, especially if we are wanting to become professional writers? Do we ever break away from that? Is that something that just follows us forever? Will we ever have enough confidence in ourselves just to write?
We have this mold. And this mold is the self that we want to shape ourselves into and how we believe we should be seen. It is a container held in by our fear. The fear that if you step out of this shape that people will hate you, that you will get rejected, that your ideas won’t be competent enough, and that you will find out once and for all that you as a person and a writer aren’t good enough. Because of that we end up living in these little boxes only sharing and showing the same things over and over again that we know fit into this mold and that everyone likes. It is hard to step out. It is hard to be unique. It is hard to be ourselves. It is hard just to have fun writing.
Like writing this. It is hard. You can bet I am nervous. It is hard to write just what I want to write and to have enough confidence in myself to share it. It is hard to even speak my ideas, let alone let myself build up these great plans that I know I love and think are fantastic, but for some reason can’t help but to think what if other people don’t feel the same way? It is hard to step away from the fear of being proven wrong and feeling my already own shaky self-image start to crumble. It is hard to ignore all the self-doubts in my head and shove them aside just to have fun writing.
But the real question is what if no one gets to love and experience your brilliance and your ideas? What if you could really get somewhere and be great? What if you are holding yourself back from the amazing person you already are?
What do you do?
The only answer I have for you to be able to break through is to WRITE. Just write. And have fun doing it. We all know that writing fills up the soul in ways nothing else can, but what we don’t know is each time you write you become braver. You gain more courage and strength to speak your words because if you did it once, you can do it again, and again, and again, and show the world and yourself that you have a voice. That you have courage. That you have passion. And that each time you can break more from your mold. Every time I give myself permission to just write what I want and just let myself fall into my love for writing it becomes easier, like a muscle needing worked.
Let your writing break your mold for you. Let it slip through the cracks and test the waters so you can realize that you are safe and you are ok and you can put yourself out to the world. Let yourself prove to yourself that you can be who you are, write what you want, and have fun doing it! That your uniqueness is something that can be craved.
My mold that keeps me from sharing and spreading my ideas, my stories, my worlds, and my escapes every day begins to break and crack. And personally, writing and sharing this has been more for myself than anyone else. It is a nice reminder to look back on and to hold myself up to. My own words to live by. If I hadn’t written this, where would I be today?
Confined by my mold.
But instead I am working on breaking free.
Rip the raw power of song and verse from my heart
Expel my pleas in notes to touch a soul
Gift me meaning to life
Vitality to feel
And words to express
Grant me the need to construct meanings to emotions
And apprehension to grasp the rules of the world
Rules that form chaos
Rules that confound
Rules that drown people too deep
Help me lift them out
Before they drown again
Names. Powers to describe the universe. Yet, can’t fully define you. Why do we live by names and not the stories beneath? The real magick is how the names came to be.
I’m just going to dive right in. I love the stories behind names. I think they are amazing and really tell a lot about the person who gave the name. Not the person who got the name, but the person who told their thought process, past, what is important to them, and what has special meaning to them when giving the name.
Take me for example. I have three daughters. I wanted to make sure that together as one their names were powerful and it is my belief that true power dwells in sounds like syllables. Just like how poetry can really affect your soul by the flow of the words in verse. To make their names powerful in syllables for their names to be able to fit together, I had my oldest daughter’s first name have 3 syllables and her middle name have 1. My second daughter’s first name have 2 syllables and her middle name have 2. And my last daughter’s first name have 1 syllable and her middle name have 3. That way they all equally have four but the syllables are distributed differently forming a full circle. And it goes
Angela, Sarah, Dawn
3 2 1
Lee, Nicole, Abigail
1 2 3
Also, they are each named after two people. Angela’s first name is after one of the nicest people I had ever met and worked with, and her middle name is a family name that goes back generations. Sarah’s first name is after a best friend from elementary school and her middle name is from two very important red-headed friends that influenced my life and were both named Nicole when I was younger. When I lost one, I gained the other. Dawn’s first name is named after the Dawn from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the character named Dawn from Pokémon.
Just by looking at their names it doesn’t tell you much, but by all of that you learn a piece of who I really am. Which, if you can’t guess, is a crazy geek who definitely overthinks but who really believes friendship is important and who takes some people deeply to heart, even and especially characters.
Now as a writer, naming a character verses naming a child is quite different. A character’s names can actually tell you personally about the character more than it would naming a child. When you name a child, you don’t truly know them yet and they end up molding the name to fit them and they make a story of their own with it. When we name a character, the name is sometimes put to the adventure or you end up asking yourself what name may best describe this character and what defines them? You shape the story around the name or the name around the story. You already know the character in your mind and want to reflect what you know. Who do they feel like they are? What do they feel like they should be named? Both are questions that may be asked and you feel like the character is already speaking to you. But once again, the question of why did you decide to give that name is so much more interesting than just what is the name. The real magick is how the names came to be.